Faculty Picture

Benjamin Graham

Associate Professor

Please email
(901) 678-2720
107 Mitchell Hall
Office Hours


Ph.D. Michigan

Fields of Interest

Early Middle Ages, Mediterranean, Environment, Food

Courses taught

Medieval Europe, World History to 1500, Roman World, Omnivore's Past: A Global History of Food and Eating, Reading Courses in Medieval Balkans, Early Christianity, and Early Medieval Ireland

Representative Publications


Benjamin Graham, Dark Age Olives: Culture and Environment in Early Medieval Italy (University of California Press, under contract)

Articles and Chapters (published and submitted manuscripts)

  • "Trees in the Global Medieval," in A Cultural History of the Environment, vol. 5 The Age of Emperors, ed. E. Arnold (London: Bloomsbury, [TBD])

  • "Trees and Woodland in Early Medieval Europe," in A Handbook of Medieval Environmental History, Vol. 1: 400–1000, eds. T. Newfield, R. Oram, and P. Slavin (Brill Academic Publishers, [TBD])

  • Warren Eastwood, Hugh Elton, Benjamin Graham, John Haldon, Adam Izdebski, Anneley McMillian, Lee Mordechai, Tim Newfield, Johannes Preiser-Kapeller, Çetin Şenkul, "Sustainability and Adaptation in Pre-Modern Times," (under review)

  • "Olives and Lighting in Dark Age Europe," Early Medieval Europe, vol 28, no. 3 (2020)

  • "Roofing Rome: Church Coverings and Power in the Postclassical City," in Cities and Saints in Late Antiquity, eds. Young Kim and Alexandra McLaughlin (Brepols, 2019], with Paolo Squatriti.

  • "Modelling the Supply of Wood Fuel in Ancient Rome," in Late Antique Archaeology, vol. 13 (2018), pp. 148-159, with Raymond Van Dam.

  • "The Columbian Exchange," encyclopedia entry for The Sea in World History: Exploration, Travel, and Trade, vol. 1, ed. Stephen Stein (ABC-CLIO, 2017), pp. 427-430.

Book Reviews
  • Review of E. Lugli, The Making of Measure and the Promise of Sameness (University of Chicago Press, 2019) in Speculum: A Journal of Medieval Studies, vol. 95, no. 3 (July, 2020)

  • Review of W. Scheidel, ed. The Science of Roman History: Biology, Climate, and the Future of the Past (Princeton University Press, 2018) in American Journal of Archaeology, vol. 123 no. 2 (April, 2019).

  • Review of C. Pilsworth, Healthcare in Early Medieval Northern Italy (Brepols, 2014) in Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences, vol. 71, no. 4.1 (October, 2016), pp. 469-471.

  • Review of R. Hoffman, An Environmental History of Medieval Europe (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014), in Environmental History, vol. 23, no. 3.1 (July 2015), pp. 533-535.

  • Review of D. Curtis, Coping with Crisis: The Resilience and Vulnerability of Pre-Industrial Settlements (Ashgate, 2014), in The Medieval Review (online database, entry 15.10.28, 2015).

Representative Conferences

  • "From Annona to Domusculta: The Ideology of Food Distribution in Post-Classical Rome," at the 93rd Annual Meeting of the Medieval Academy, Atlanta, GA, March 2, 2018

  • "Fueling Late Ancient Rome," at the Late Antiquity Faculty Research Seminar through University of Tennessee Knoxville Humanities Center, November 10, 2017

  • "Dendrophori and the Preservation of Italian Forests in Late Antiquity," at the Climate Change and History Research Initiative, Princeton, NJ, May 5, 2017

  • "Environmental Logic: Cutting Wood for Fuel in Ancient Rome," at Human- Environment Dynamics in the Peloponnese and beyond: Ideas, Methods, Results, PELOPS Group, Athens, April 5, 2017

  • "Slow Foods: Olives and Ecological Strategy in the Early Medieval Lucchesia," International Medieval Congress, Leeds, UK, July 6, 2016


Phi-Alpha Theta Co-Advisor, Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities—Faculty Advisory Committee Member, Undergraduate Studies Committee, Lead Shovel for History Garden.

Honors and Awards

2020 Early Career Research Award—College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Memphis, 2017 and 2018 Nominee for Alumni Teaching Award (top 20 vote-getters at the University of Memphis), 2017/2018 Marcus Orr Center for the Humanities, Faculty Fellowship.

Current projects

I am presently working on an article about artificial illumination in the early medieval Mediterranean and a monograph about the cultivation and consumption of olives in post-classical Italy.